Battle Scarred

There is no denying that violence is an integral part of chicken society. Battles erupt between chickens primarily over space. Hens will make a fuss if another hen is using the nest she wants to use. Roosters will fight over hens and territory. In a way, they fight over the same things people do. Giving chickens plenty of space, keeps these turf battles to a minimum.


Their feet, claws, and spurs are a rooster’s primary weapons. They also use their beaks and wings when they fight. And when I need to remove an especially aggressive rooster, I can see his battle scars clearly on his skin.


I wonder if we don’t make a mistake when we underestimate the genetic underpinnings of human behavior. You can see the impulse of males in many animal species to battle over females and territory. What we humans do, looks a lot like what roosters and hens do, only on a grand scale. We may think instinct has no bearing on what we do, but maybe we are more driven by instinct than we think.